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Saturday, 13 June 2009

Salim Sdiri breaks French long jump record

It's one of those stories that by any stretch of the imagination surely brings a warm glow along with a fair amount of admiration.

Last week, French long jumper Salim Sdiri set a new national record when he leapt his way to 8 metres 42.

So what you might be asking.

Well so a great deal in fact.

Even though you might not be familiar with his name, you might well remember what happened to him during a Golden League athletics meeting in the Italian capital of Rome back in July 2007.

Because Sdiri was injured in a freak accident during the event and the pictures quickly made their way around the world.

While the long jump was taking place in one part of the Olympic stadium, the javelin throwers were warming up not too far away.

And when the Finn, Tero Pitkamaki, launched a throw it went off target hit Sdiri and penetrated 10 centimetres into his body.

He was rushed to a local hospital where it was discovered that the javelin had in fact touched his right kidney, but although his life wasn't considered in danger and he didn't need an operation, the accident left invisible as well as the obviously visible scars.

He spent several months out of both competition and training, lost physical condition and more than seven kilogrammes and reportedly even contemplated putting a premature end to his career.

Thankfully though that didn't happen and in February 2008, Sdiri returned to competition during the French national indoor games in Bordeaux.

And that brings us bang up to date and last week's record-breaking jump during a meeting at Pierre-Bénite in the Rhône department in eastern France.

Photograph from Wikipedia, author - Jmex60, licensed under Creative Commons

"It's unbelievable but something I've been wanting to do for a long time, and I really felt up for it, he said afterwards.

For a while now I've felt that I had it in me, but equally it's taken some time for me to do it," he added.

"Now, I've put on a series of jumps including one of 8 metres 42, and it's just such a good feeling."

The next big test for will be when he represents France at the European Team Championships in Leiria, Portugal on June 20-21.

1 comment:

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